Jay Wood’s review published on Letterboxd:
Finally rewatched this movie- my thoughts are semi long, and I’m screaming into the void.
Fiction in my mind is either truly reflective of the world its set in, perhaps its a pure fantasy world with subtle similar machinations- or a parable of the world we are in. This falls in the parable category. A pop coloured moral story.
Seeing the discourse regarding this film sour over the past few months have been interesting (not unlike the same discourse that followed Three Billboards outside Ebbing.Missouri). This is a movie that has problems sure, but to see people reflect on a movie with a Pop Coloured pharmacy singing montage, amidst the poppy almost karaoke-esque titles, with real world expectations due to the ending is doing a disservice to the moral at it’s heart.
The ending of this film needs to end this way, the cops FINALLY responding- both due to evidence being presented, and the impressive turn by Alfred Molina- is necessary in this sort of fiction. Otherwise the message becomes ‘speak up and Die’. Which is a horribly reductive and ultimately hopeless ending. Cops are far from good historically in these situations. It’s a wish fulfilment ending that gives hope...
Every character has the potential to change their path in this film. To stop doing the wrong thing. To understand consent, and simply acknowledging the past, and yet, most characters don’t. It’s disgusting. And whether the cops should or shouldn’t be ‘heroes’ at the end is diluting the message from what is most important.
This is a story of belief in victims, self acknowledgement and helping others even if it cost you your mates/jobs or your family. Be better. From day one. If this scares you? Good. It fucking should.
Currently, there’s a push in Aussie schools for consent to be taught in schools, as they don’t.
Schools don’t teach you to pull a trigger of a gun either- doesn’t mean people don’t know it’s wrong. Respecting people isn’t something you learn in a consent class.
Educate. Listen. Be there for them, whoever they are.
If they tell you their story. Listen.
The religious iconography throughout this film is intentional-
The truth will set you free.